TE Darren Waller - Oakland Raiders

6-6, 238Born: 9-13-1992College: Georgia TechDrafted: Round 6, pick 2015

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Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRECYDTDFumLPts
17 at DEN 69 6.0 107 0 0 10.7

Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24

Percentile ranks

Darren Waller's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 17 vs DEN (10 / 6 / 107 / 0 rec)

Waller played 95% of snaps and led the team in targets despite Hunter Renfrow also garnering plenty of looks from Carr. Waller did basically all of his damage in the first quarter. He had three receptions on the opening drive, including an 18-yard reception on a slant route. He went over 100 yards receiving late in the first quarter when he took a screen pass for a 75-yard gain. On the play, he lined up inline and blocked a defender temporarily before using a swim move to get away from him to free himself for the short grab. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he raced down the sideline, outrunning multiple Broncos defensive backs before getting tripped up at the 20-yard line. He managed only two catches for six total yards after the opening quarter, though he did have an 11-yard catch wiped out due to an illegal formation penalty.

2019 Week 16 vs LAC (4 / 4 / 37 / 0 rec)

In the second half of the season, Waller's targets have taken a big hit when Renfrow plays. Carr seems to lock onto one guy on the majority of third down passing attempts and that guy has been Renfrow instead of Waller when both are available. Waller had an 11-yard reception running across the formation off of play action. The play has become a staple of the Raiders offense and is almost unstoppable because it requires a linebacker to sift through traffic while trying to keep up with Waller's 4.5 speed. Waller caught a 20-yard pass over the middle. He was barely touched as he went to the ground. Thinking he wasn't touched down, Waller got up and sprinted 40 more yards for what he hoped would be a long touchdown but the defender did get a hand on him as he was falling.

2019 Week 15 vs JAX (10 / 8 / 122 / 0 rec)

Waller was again Carr's go-to target again. His 10 targets were more than three times those of any other Raiders pass catcher. He started the game off on fire with five catches for 86 yards in the first quarter. Each of them going for at least 10 yards and a first down with the longest gain going for 36 yards on a pretty over the shoulder grab deep down the left sideline. He had a short catch called back due to an illegal formation in the second quarter. He made a 20-yard grab over the middle to setup a field goal in the final seconds before halftime, putting him over 100 yards in the first half. Waller had a very quiet second half, however. The Raiders seemed comfortably in control and mostly played it safe running the ball. After a pair of late Jacksonville touchdowns, the Raiders were forced to be aggressive in the final minute and Waller was again key. He drew a 33-yard interference penalty streaking down the seam. Then he went low for a 10-yard diving grab over the middle that put the Raiders in position for a couple Hail Mary attempts at the end zone. It was another standout performance for Waller who is far and away the most dangerous weapon on the Raiders offense.

2019 Week 14 vs TEN (6 / 6 / 73 / 0 rec)

Waller was again Carr's go-to receiver. He was instrumental on a touchdown drive just before halftime. First, he found a soft spot in the zone for an 11-yard gain on a 3rd-and-8. A few plays later, he lined up in the slot and ran a deep crossing route. He caught it along the sideline for a 25-yard gain and dove for the pylon but was knocked out less than a yard from the end zone. A couple plays later, he drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone to give the Raiders a new set of downs. Waller had some bad luck on a fumble. He caught a short pass along the sideline and had the ball punched out as he turned upfield. Somehow, the ball spun in the turf and didn't get to the sideline, allowing a Titans defender to scoop and score.

2019 Week 13 vs KC (9 / 7 / 100 / 0 rec)

Waller made a leaping 24-yard reception down the sideline despite having a defender right on him. Waller had a 19-yard catch and run on a quick slant route. Waller padded his stats a bit on the final drive in garbage time. He made an acrobatic catch along the sideline for a 13-yard gain on a pass that was thrown behind him and later grabbed a 12-yard pass on a short catch and run against prevent defense.

2019 Week 12 vs NYJ (6 / 3 / 41 / 0 rec)

Waller had another relatively quiet game and has cooled off considerably after a huge start to the season. His first target went through his hands. It wasn't quite a drop since it would have been a difficult catch with a defender in tight coverage, but it was one Waller should have had. Waller ran a crossing route that was setup to be a pick play with Tyrell Williams. Williams and the two Jets defenders collided and Waller was left alone. He adjusted his route, ran to open space, and was wide open for a 15-yard gain. He slipped across the formation to catch a short flare pass from Carr and would have had a short gain but was able to run through the tackle and get loose for a 17-yard pickup.

2019 Week 11 vs CIN (7 / 5 / 78 / 0 rec, 1 / -2 / 0 rush)

Waller caught a slant route and made the first tackler miss to pick up 14 yards and get the Raiders down to the Bengals two yard line, setting up the first offensive touchdown a couple plays later. He nearly had a 3-yard touchdown catch on the next drive but he and Carr weren't quite on the same page. The Bengals were playing a zone defense and got confused with two players picking up Tyrell Williams on a short out route in the front of the end zone and another defender dropped Waller to pick up the running back. It left Waller all alone in the back of the end zone. However, Carr threw it behind Waller and he wasn't able to make the twisting grab. Carr expected Waller to slow down once he found the huge hole in the zone but Waller kept running and the two clearly weren't on the same page. Waller picked up 32 yards on a deep crossing route from the slot. He broke a tackle to add an extra 10 yards at the end of the play. Waller had a 29-yard catch and run down the right sideline that was called back due to holding. The very next play, Waller easily beat a Bengals linebacker to the inside on a slant route and accelerated after the short catch to pick up 23 yards.

2019 Week 10 vs LAC (5 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)

Waller played almost every snap but had a quiet game with Carr really spreading the ball around. He had the Raiders longest play of the game with a 27-yard catch down the left sideline. He faked like he was going to block then slipped out and sprinted down the field. He was able to make the grab despite taking a big hit from the safety who rotated over and was in position to break the pass up. Waller had a drop on a tight end screen.

2019 Week 9 vs DET (2 / 2 / 52 / 0 rec)

Waller's snaps and targets were lower in this matchup. He had played over 90% of the snaps in all but one game this season prior to logging 79% in this one. He had seen at least five targets in every game coming in and saw just two. He made the most of his limited opportunities, however. He caught a deep out for 31 yards on his first target. He picked up 21 yards on a crossing route, using his elite speed to run away from the safety trying to keep up with him. After the game, Jon Gruden noted that Waller is starting to see more double teams and teams are rolling coverages his way. "There's an old saying about, 'We're going to try to make you play left-handed,'" Gruden said about teams now trying to take away Waller. "We're seeing that, so we've tried to improve our left hand." The addition of Zay Jones, emergence of Hunter Renfrow, and return of Tyrell Williams combined with teams paying extra attention could lead to fewer targets moving forward.

2019 Week 8 vs HOU (8 / 2 / 11 / 1 rec)

In recent weeks, the Raiders had waited too long to get Waller involved but they went to him early against the Texans. On the second play of the game, he was targeted deep down the left sideline but the ball was thrown too far to the inside and Waller was unable to make a play on it. He was unable to come up with any of his five targets in the first 20 minutes of the game. Waller caught an 8-yard touchdown on a play the Raiders have used regularly and to great success. He lined up inline to the right of the formation and then worked his way back across the formation behind the OL after the snap and then caught a short dump off and sprinted to get inside the pylon. When a linebacker is responsible for him, it is hard for the defender to work through traffic while also matching Waller's elite speed and it allows Waller to get to open for easy completions. Waller had a 30-yard catch wiped out due to a very questionable offensive pass interference call on Hunter Renfrow who ran a rub route. Gruden challenged the call but it wasn't overturned. Waller was only targeted one time in the second half. The linebacker undercut the route and should have intercepted it when Carr threw it too low. Carr was just slightly off all day when targeting Waller.

2019 Week 7 vs GB (8 / 7 / 126 / 2 rec)

Waller had a monster game and it could have been much bigger. He caught two touchdowns and just narrowly missed having two or three more. He got behind the defense on a busted coverage for a 28-yard touchdown early in the second quarter but it was called back due to a holding penalty. His first actual catch came with a few minutes left in the first half, a beautiful 16-yard grab along the sideline. He went up over the defender and was able to toe tap along the sideline. The very next play he got behind the defense for a 48-yard catch. Only a shoestring tackle at the 3-yard line kept him out of the end zone. With the Raiders falling behind big early in the second half, Carr started peppering Waller with targets. He hit Waller on back-to-back identical short routes for 18 and 12 yards. A few plays later, he lined up in the slot and the Packers tried to cover him with a linebacker. He made the defender look bad with a nice stutter step move and was wide open in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown, his first of the season. Waller had another red zone target in the middle of the end zone later in the second half but he got his feet tangled up with the defender and tripped. It allowed the trailing safety to intercept the pass in the end zone. Waller caught his second touchdown pass of the game in garbage time from Mike Glennon. He lined up out wide, caught the ball short in front of the corner and then spun out of the attempted tackle and into the end zone. It would be wise for the Raiders to get Waller involved earlier in games because he has proven impossible to cover and is emerging as the star of the offense.

2019 Week 5 vs CHI (5 / 4 / 39 / 0 rec)

Waller had a relatively quiet game and even suffered a rare drop on a quick post in the fourth quarter but played well overall. He had a monster block on Roquan Smith at the goal line that allowed DeAndre Washington to get into the end zone. He drove block Smith backwards into the end zone and even got a hand on the safety to keep him from getting into the play. Waller twice caught nine yard passes on comeback routes while lined up wide as a receiver. He had an eight-yard reception on a drag route that almost went for a huge gain. Waller put on a burst of speed and had a step on the defender but the trailing linebacker was able to make a diving tackle to trip Waller up as he turned upfield. Another few inches and Waller would have been off to the races.

2019 Week 4 vs IND (8 / 7 / 53 / 0 rec)

Waller continues to be the go-to target in the Raiders passing offense. He again led the team in targets and receptions. Aside from a bit of a drop on a short swing pass along the sideline that was thrown behind him and would have gone for no gain, Waller caught every ball thrown his way. His hands and pass catching technique have been nearly perfect. He consistently catches the ball way from his body and can hang on through contact. Unlike some past weeks, the Raiders didn't take their time getting him involved. He came across the formation on a play-action fake and caught a short dump off for 7 yards on the first play of the game. On a 3rd-and-6 on the opening drive, he went low and held on despite a big hit for another 7-yard reception. Waller made a 17-yard grab over the middle on a post route. He used his elite speed to take a short dump off for 15 yards, destroying the angle of the linebacker in coverage to turn what should have been a modest gain into a bigger play. Waller might have had a bigger day if Oakland hadn't jumped out to a big lead. After the relatively hot start, he was targeted just twice after halftime as the Raiders ran their four-minute offense.

2019 Week 3 vs MIN (14 / 13 / 134 / 0 rec, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)

On a dismal day for the Raiders, Waller's play was the lone bright spot. Oakland needs to get him involved earlier, however. His first target didn't come until midway through the second quarter, with the Raiders already in a 21-0 hole. His first catch went for 30 yards. He blocked for a second, then did a swim move to free himself to take the short dump off and exploded upfield, weaving his way to the big gain. He grabbed a quick slant for 9 yards on the next play. Waller had three more grabs in the two-minute drill before halftime, including an 11-yard grab over the middle. Seven of Waller's catches came in the fourth quarter with the Raiders trailing by 24 points or more. While the numbers were inflated due to extended garbage time, Waller still looked fantastic and is going to be a top weekly fantasy option moving forward. He was consistently making grabs with his hands extended far away from his body, displaying a huge catch radius. Waller showed toughness, making some difficult grabs over the middle in traffic. He also looked like the best athlete on the field. Linebackers can't run with him and his massive size makes him a mismatch against smaller defensive backs.

2019 Week 2 vs KC (7 / 6 / 63 / 0 rec)

Waller didn't get targeted until late in the second quarter. He caught a short crossing route and turned on the jets to get down the sideline for a 16-yard gain. His speed just pops off the screen on plays like this one. He showed off some impressive run after the catch skills on a 12-yard catch and run on third and long a few plays later. He caught it short, made the first man miss and nearly weaved his way for the first down. Waller again showed off his ability after the catch on a 7-yard gain. He hurdled a defender near the sideline to pick up the first down.

2019 Week 1 vs DEN (8 / 7 / 70 / 0 rec)

Waller was a clear beneficiary of Antonio Brown going AWOL and lived up to every bit of the offseason hype. He was on the field for every single snap and garnered a whopping 31% of the targets. The Raiders often used him as essentially the No. 2 WR, as he lined up detached from the line on 40% of the snaps. His first catch came lined up out wide. He caught a short comeback and then plowed through the defender to turn a modest gain into 11 yards. A couple plays later while again lined up out wide, Waller made an athletic 25-yard grab on a fade route down the sideline. Waller was able to use his elite speed to separate from a cornerback on a drag route to pick up a first down. Waller also got an easy catch for 8 yards on a screen pass. Waller looks like the 1B in the Raiders passing offense behind only Tyrell Williams.

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